Editor's note: the following article also appeared in the March 12, 2013 print edition of The Compass.
An outspoken member of the Clarke's Beach town council who hasn't lived in the community for nearly two years confirmed last week he will not seek re-election when municipal elections are held in September.
That's despite the fact David Moore Jr. expects to once again reside in the town in a couple of months.
"You won't see my name on the ballot," Moore told The Compass following the March 4 regular meeting of council.
Coun. Moore is a lifelong resident of Clarke's Beach, but had to vacate the house he was renting after it was sold in May 2010.
He moved with his young family to Spaniard's Bay, hoping to eventually find another place in Clarke's Beach.
But despite his best efforts, he was never able to find a suitable rental property, at least not until lately. He expects to be residing in the town once again by June 1, well ahead of the residency timeframe required by the Municipalities Act in order for a citizen's name to appear on the ballot.
However, he plans to step away from politics, at least for now.
"I'm not saying I'm done with it, but I won't be running in September," he said.
Having a non-resident member of council has raised more than a few eyebrows, with some suggesting Moore should vacate his seat.
According to the Municipalities Act, a councillor's seat becomes vacant when "he or she stops being ordinarily resident in the municipality; or he or she has been absent from the municipality for more than one year."
The town sought a ruling from the Department of Municipal Affairs, which later provided a new interpretation of the Act. It was determined by the department that a councillor may retain his or her seat if they continue to attend meetings and are actively involved with council. Moore appeared to fit that description, since he was a regular at meetings, served on several committees, and also served as a volunteer with the regional fire department.
"The fact that he sleeps somewhere else should have no bearing on his ability to serve Clarke's Beach citizens as a member of their town council," Mayor Betty Moore (no relation) stated in a May 2011 article in The Compass. "He fulfills his role as a councillor. His council work is fine."
Moore was elected to council in 2006, and has never been shy about expressing his opinion. He has thoroughly enjoyed his tenure on council.
"I loved it. I do it to help the fellow person out. I'd recommend for anybody to take a try at it. It's a very worthwhile experience," he said.
"A lot of residents would like to see me run again. They like my eager attitude I guess," he added. "I've called my people here different things. Sometimes I regret it. Sometimes I don't.
"But overall it's been a wonderful experience."